International Hires

Academic Departments or Offices frequently find themselves interested in hiring an international individual for various positions.  This information is designed to give you an overview of possible options.  Please review this information carefully and follow up with our office to learn how to move forward with hiring an international employee.

Please avoid promising a certain immigration status to a potential hire until after discussions with our office, as each different status has its own requirements and restrictions.

Click Here to view UMBC’s Sponsorship Policy for H-1B and Permanent Resident Status.


Common Visa Categories for Hiring International Faculty

  • F-1 OPT
    • New hires that are currently in F-1 student status (from UMBC or any other school in the US) are eligible to work at UMBC after graduation through OPT (Optional Practical Training).
    • OPT is available for one year only.  UMBC cannot host students on the STEM OPT extension, as we are not E-Verified.  This category is not appropriate for long-term positions, but often serves as a bridge to J-1 or H-1b status.
    • There is no cost to the department to hire an individual on OPT.  UMBC HR will manage all required paperwork.
  • J-1 Scholars and Researchers
    • This category is appropriate for advanced Graduate students at an international University; short-term scholars (up to 6 months); or visiting research faculty and postdoctoral research fellows (up to 5 years).  A faculty appointment is required.
    • There is no cost to the department.  UMBC ISSS will manage all required paperwork with the hiring department and scholar.
    • Learn more about hiring using J-1 status here.
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker 
    • This category is appropriate for faculty positions, usually on the tenure track.
    • H-1B status is available for 3 years, and can be extended once to a maximum of 6 years total.
    • The employee must be receiving the “prevailing wage” – a fair wage appropriate to level of experience, field and site of employment, as well as the “actual wage,” meaning they will earn an amount within the current range of salaries of similarly situated workers in the department.
    • The department will be responsible for the application fees of $500 and $460, and either the department or employee will be responsible for the $2,805 premium processing fee if necessary.
    • Learn more about hiring using H-1B status here.
  • Permanent Resident
    • This category is appropriate for UMBC international faculty members already in H-1B status, and have been employed at UMBC for at least 18 months.  The department should expect that this individual will remain at UMBC for the foreseeable future, and the position must be indefinite.
    • The cost to the department is typically between $10,000 to $14,000 for legal and immigration filing fees, on average.
    • Learn more about hiring using Permanent Residency status here.


For general inquiries or to learn more about which status is appropriate for your international employee, please email our office.

Please note, departments can certainly hires individuals in additional immigration statuses, but the above are the specific statuses that the University needs to be involved in.  An individual might have their own status through their own means that allows them to work.  Please contact the Human Resources Office at UMBC for questions about an individual already in an immigration status other than those listed here.